Ellsberg: U.S. Military Planned First Strike On Every City In Russia and China … and Gave Field Commanders Power to Push Button

Daniel Ellsberg – America’s most famous whistleblower, the former military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers which helped end the Vietnam war – has just published a book revealing that he was also one of the main nuclear war planners for the United States in the 1960s.

Ellsberg said in an interview this morning that the U.S.  had plans for a first strike on every city in Russia and China … and that numerous field-level commanders had the power to start nuclear Armageddon:

[Interviewer] So, you made copies of top-secret reports for plans about nuclear war years before you copied the Pentagon Papers—


DANIEL ELLSBERG: That’s right.


[Interviewer] —and released them to the press?


DANIEL ELLSBERG: Essentially, my notes, and sometimes verbatim excerpts, not the entire plans themselves, but on plans that were then unknown to the president, to begin with, to President Kennedy. I briefed his aide, McGeorge Bundy, in his first month in office on the nature of the plans and some of the other problems, like the delegation of authority to theater commanders for nuclear war by President Eisenhower, which was fairly shocking to McGeorge Bundy, even though Kennedy chose to renew that delegation, as other presidents have.


But I was given the job of improving the Eisenhower plans, which was not a very high bar, actually, at that time, because they were, on their face, the worst plans in the history of warfare. A number of people who saw them, but very few civilians ever got a look at them. In fact, the joint chiefs couldn’t really get the targets out of General LeMay at the Strategic Air Command.


And there was a good reason for that: They were insane. They called for first-strike plans, which was by order of President Eisenhower. He didn’t want any plan for limited war of any kind with the Soviet Union, under any circumstances, because that would enable the Army to ask for enormous numbers of divisions or even tactical nuclear weapons to deal with the Soviets. So he required that the only plan for fighting Soviets, under any circumstances, such as an encounter in the Berlin corridor, the access to West Berlin, or over Iran, which was already a flashpoint at that point, or Yugoslavia, if they had gone in—however the war started—with an uprising in East Germany, for example—however it got started, Eisenhower’s directed plan was for all-out war, in a first initiation of nuclear war, assuming the Soviets had not used nuclear weapons.


And that plan called, in our first strike, for hitting every city—actually, every town over 25,000—in the USSR and every city in China. [Ellsberg isn’t the first to discuss U.S. plans for a nuclear first strike.  In the 1986 book To Win a Nuclear War: The Pentagon’s Secret War Plans, one of the world’s leading physicists – Michio Kaku – revealed declassified plans for the U.S. to launch a first-strike nuclear war against Russia.  The forward was written by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clarke.]  A war with Russia would inevitably involve immediate attacks on every city in China. In the course of doing this—pardon me—there were no reserves. Everything was to be thrown as soon as it was available—it was a vast trucking operation of thermonuclear weapons—over to the USSR, but not only the USSR. The captive nations, the East Europe satellites in the Warsaw Pact, were to be hit in their air defenses, which were all near cities, their transport points, their communications of any kind. So they were to be annihilated, as well.




The weapons, the machinery that will carry this out, this was no hypothetical plan, like Herman Kahn might have conceived at the doomsday machine that he thought up at the RAND Corporation as my colleague. This was an actual war plan for how we would use the existing weapons, many of which I had seen already that time.




Every president has delegated. I don’t know the details of what President Trump has done or since the Cold War. Every president in the Cold War, right through Carter and Reagan, had delegated, in fact, to theater commanders in case communications were cut off. That means that the idea that the president is the only one with sole power to issue an order that will be recognized as an authentic authorized order is totally false.


How many fingers are on buttons? Probably no president has ever really known the details of that. I knew, in ’61, for example, that Admiral Harry D. Felt in CINCPAC, commander-in-chief of Pacific, for whom I worked as a researcher, had delegated that to 7th Fleet, down to various commanders, and they, in turn, had delegated down to people. So when you say, “How many altogether feel authorized?” if their communications are cut off—and that happened part of every day in the Pacific when I was there—communications got better, but the delegations never changed.




Generally, they allow for lower-level majors, colonels to decide, “The time has come. We’ve lost our commanders. The time has come to go.”


Ellsberg says that not much has changed since he served as a nuclear war planner. Indeed, experts say that new U.S. weapons technologies are geared towards first strike capabilities.




BaBaBouy VWAndy Thu, 12/07/2017 - 17:23 Permalink

I saw his interview on PBS Wednesday Night...Truly frightening. This guy was there and knows it all.The subs near Cuba were seconds away from fireing Nukes at the US navy above. One Russian Commadore who just happened to be on right sub stopped the launch.If that nuke was fired it would have set off the whole carnaige... Unbelievable.This one Hero saved the world!

In reply to by VWAndy

caconhma HowdyDoody Fri, 12/08/2017 - 11:08 Permalink

Just understand the above: any nuclear conflict in any part of the globe will immediately escalate into a global war between the USA, China, and Russia.Even a very limited nuclear conflict with N. Korea when a few US major cities will be wiped out (and they will be), the USA will become something like Pakistan and this US & global zionist terrorist banking mafia cannot accept. Therefore, a nuclear war with both Russia and China become inevitable. Imbecile Trump does not understand this! 

In reply to by HowdyDoody

Cloud9.5 old naughty Sat, 12/09/2017 - 08:50 Permalink

Nice misdirection. Throw in some red meat and the pack immediately changes focus.  The Pentagon Papers pulled the scales from people’s eyes and ultimately ended the war.  Vietnam was the biggest Cluster F--- of my generation.  People are still dying from it and it was brought about by Robert McNamara and his ilk.  Piss on the notion that master deceivers are protected by arcane security laws designed to let war criminals escape punishment and die of old age.God for whatever reason has placed reasonable men at tipping points in history that have thus far prevented us from annihilating each other.  History has proven that God’s grace has a limited duration.  Our political systems are a boil on the face of humanity.  The evil that permeates them knows no bounds.  This is evident from the never ending outing of treachery and deceit that is revealed almost daily. The only reason for secrecy and misdirection is to deceive the enemy.  Based on the sophistication of the intel of the opposition, it has become patently obvious that the only sector being deceived by this wall of lies is the American People. Clearly the state views we the people as the enemy that must be lied to and misdirected.

In reply to by old naughty

francis scott … J. Peasemold G… Fri, 12/08/2017 - 21:36 Permalink

The only thing real today is that the 'DEEP STATE' is going to use all the Hollywood assaults, whichled to the Congressional assaults, plus all of  Trump's Bimbostic behavior and double messagesabout Syria, Israel, Russia, North Korea and China, to proclaim a military takeover of the gubbermint. Yes, our best Generals, who don't have to raise money for reelection, are better than a majorityof Senators and Reps in both parties.  It's time to clean out the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court.  Forget about American Citizens doing that.  If there are not enough patrotic Generals and Colonels in the Army to do that YOU CAN STICK A FORK IN AMERICA, BECAUSE IT IS DONE.                                  

                                                         T O A S T

In reply to by J. Peasemold G…

WhyWait New_Meat Thu, 12/07/2017 - 21:54 Permalink

Yes, the Sino Soviet Split was very real, engineered in part by Kissinger but just as much by Mao.  China was all about China, preoccupied with reclaiming their pride and power, and too mixed up with their internal struggles to pay attention to their part in checkmating the Empire and preventing a World War.  That burden all fell on the Soviet Union after about 1962.  Much as the Soviets tried to put on a brave face, they were terrified. Not that they didn't have the power to destroy the US and Europe.  The evidence that the Soviets were dealing with psychopathic lunitics who could accept megadeaths if they could "win" and who never gave up their dream of a technological breakthrough that would give them a decisive advantage (eg. Star Wars) kept the Soviets fearing that deterrence would eventually fail. 

In reply to by New_Meat

francis scott … WhyWait Fri, 12/08/2017 - 17:05 Permalink

You're an ignorant troll rewriting history to promote your own view of events. No, China and, ESPECIALLY, Russia weren't intelligent enough to knowwhat the reaction of the anti-communists in the Pentagon and Congresswould be, if, suddenly after the ROC moved to Taiwan in 1949, China and Russia signed a mutual defense pact.

 "In October of 1949, after a string of military victories, Mao Zedong proclaimed the establishment of the PRC; Chiang and his forces fled to Taiwan to regroup.... (wikipedia) "the Sino Soviet Split was very real, engineered in part by Kissinger but just as much by Mao" (why wait)(Do you understand  exactly how stupid and meaningless this remark of yours is?)  

From 1950 to 1954 Kissinger was getting a BA and Phd from Harvard and advising the US State Departmentwhat to do?  (sarc)By 1955 he told Eisenhower that he could persuade Mao to split with Stalin/Keruschev andgo it alone until Nixon was in the Oval Office after 1969. It never occurred to the 'Chess Playing' Russians in 1950 to feign a dispute with China to throw LeMay and his minions off guard and make unnecessary a US first strike against Russia. No. Russia was completely incapable of that.You keep believing your crap until you see a mushroom cloud over your favorite Starbucks.   In 1950, Russia - not China - orchestrated the North Korean invasion of the South,because Mao didn't even want the West to know it was allied with NK. And that China was ready for a two front attack by the US on Moscow and Pyongyang.   As long as morons like you were in the Pentagon, the White House and Congress and boughtthe Sino-Soviet split, Russia had nothing to fear and China was on track to become thelargest economy in the world.


In reply to by WhyWait

francis scott … Luc X. Ifer Fri, 12/08/2017 - 00:36 Permalink

More and more students of history are seeing that the Sino-Russian conflict in the mid 60s was asphony as a bitcoin selling for over $17,000. The time for the US to use the first strike was in the 50's, in the days of Curtis LeMay and Joe McCarthy. But that train has left the station and Russia will give the US as good as it gets. Not to mentionPoker-Face Putin now is threatening America with his own preemptive strike.   DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR For Lavrov to have to sit across from the diplomatic imbicile, Tillerson, and listen to his hypocriticalranting about Ukraine, is the very dishonor and odium that virtuous people prefer death to. Why Lavrov doesn't tell Tillerson and Trump that when the US returns Hawaii to the noble family theyusurped when they invaded Hawaii near the end of of 19th century, Russia will consider returningCrimea to Ukraine. The US isn't interested in stopping the deaths in Donbas.  They want to dispossess Moscow of the Naval facilities they recently acquired after the Crimean Referendum and Russian Annexation.  The Hawaiians didn't get a referendum.  They just got a vote for statehood in 1959. Give up your naval bases in Hawaii and we'll give up ours in Crimea. AMERICA'S HIGH POLITICIAN'S HYPOCRISY WILL CONTINUE TO RAIN FIRES, HURRICANES, TORNADOES, FLOODS, AND EARTHQUAKES, LIKE NAPALM ON THE VIETNAMESE, PLUS THE ECONOMIC HARDSHIPS OF ITS VAST DEBT ON ITS INNOCENT CITIZENS UNTIL THERE IS A PUBLIC ADMISSION BY AMERICA'SLEADERS AND A SINCERE APOLOGY TO EVERY STATE IT HAS HARMED AND RESTITUTION TO THEM.

In reply to by Luc X. Ifer

SgtShaftoe VWAndy Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:35 Permalink

It may, but there is certainly some weird stuff going on. This email from the Podesta archive is kinda odd:

During the 60s onward there were a number of nuclear warheads disabled by some unknown force/party. There are a bunch of declassified military reports on the same incidents.


I'm not sure how provable this data is, or how likely we actually are to be saved by some other, but it's certainly something to keep on the radar, and something to think about.

In reply to by VWAndy

nmewn George Washington Thu, 12/07/2017 - 18:43 Permalink

To add, a more famous Russian who "saved the world" was named Stanislav Petro.  Sometimes having a little common sense (it wouldn't be just a few missiles) and not being a blindly obedient officer (that definitely helps...lol) goes a long way, of course, waking up drunken Russian generals in the wee hours of the morning has its drawbacks too.Lest anyone think I've gone all Red on the deal ;-)

In reply to by George Washington

CRM114 Thu, 12/07/2017 - 17:37 Permalink

If the strikes were in response to Soviet aggression, as stated, then it's not a First Strike, is it?First strike is pre-emptive, not reactionary.Read A F#cking Dictionary.It's first use (of nukes), not first strike. It was called Tripwire, and it worked. And have any of those delegated commanders gone rogue? Any of those single seat nuclear alert pilots decided to do his own thing, in 60-odd years? No.

nmewn veritas semper… Fri, 12/08/2017 - 06:40 Permalink

She's a genuine "icon".A real credit, nay...a giant...a blue eye shadow wearing actual iconic giant, always immaculately coiffed with a towering, searing intellect only rivaled by Madame Curie, standing athwart the great gender divide of our time...“He is quiet, he is confident, he is powerful, but he has impeccable integrity on all of our issues. Give John Conyers a big round of applause.”...so lets all give Maxine a big round of applause too for her sheer comedic genius, so rich & deep that only an enlightened few can truly appreciate ;-)

In reply to by veritas semper…